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Full text of "[Letter to] My Dear Sir [manuscript]"



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Saturday Morning, ^December 23 ; 1837.J 

My Dear Sir^ 

I am sorry to see that a meeting is advertised for tomorrow 
evening. I fear that the religiously disposed will not go out on 
Sundav evening. I beg, that as far as possible, all preparations ^ ray 
be avoided. I wish that you and Mr. Loring would state distinctly 
the objects o^ the meeting which was petitioned for, that it was intend- 
ed to be held under the influence o^ religion, that it was to begin and 

to close wit" supplication for God's blessing, that it was intended 
also to embrace all parties, that the Mayor was to be requested to pre- 
side (Am I not right in this?), etc. My earnest desire is that we 
may have a meeting which will unite the people of our city in the 
expression of the great principles in which they really concur, and 
for this end exasperating views of one or another party should oow 
s-ir&t^f^iy ->a kept out of sight. If the Abolitionists will now take 
a generous position, if they will come forward as advocates of free 
discission, and as the settled foes of violence and mobf, and will 
stop here, they will not only acquire new confidence, but what is more 
important, will give a decided impulse to the great principles on 
which all our reformations and improvements must rest. If they try 
to mix up this meeting with Abolitionism, they will prevent a deep and 

Cso^u*£- G^cZ^trT^j against violence, and in favor of the rights of free 
discission and the press. I wish of course to be kept out of sight 
as much as I can be. My present notoriety is painful enough. But if 
it is necessary, you can bear testimony to my views from the beginning, 



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as expressed not only in conversation, but in my letters to you. 
May I ask one favor. If a meeting is to be held, let me be excused 
from all participation in it. This was my purpose from the beginning, 
as you will remember. I am nothing in a public meeting, and I be- 
lieve I can do most good away from it. Communicate this to Mr. Loring, 
and I trust to his friendship as to yours, to save me from applica- 
tion which I must deny. I retain my opinion^^^^^rom the beginning, 
that a meeting ought not to be forc ed. Unless it is a free, sponta- 

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neous, general act, let it give way. This will be &£ less evil than 
a poor, divided, angry meeting. 

Yrs Truly, 

Wm. E. Channing.